Berkeley health officials issued a public warning Monday after learning that a UC Berkeley student who traveled on an AC Transit bus to a Richmond store last week may have unwittingly exposed others to the measles.
The student who has since been diagnosed with the highly infectious disease reportedly road the 25-A bus at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, from the Berkeley campus to 99 Ranch Market at Pacific East Mall, 3288 Pierce St., according to Berkeley officials and news reports (see Tweet below from ABC7’s Amy Hollyfield). The student then returned to campus on the same bus line at 5:30 p.m.
“The measles virus can linger in the air for up to two hours, so Berkeley community members may have been exposed in a wide variety of places,” city officials said.
City of Berkeley Public Health is working with the university to assess exposure on campus and to notify exposed communities, health care providers and the state.
Measles is an airborne virus that spreads rapidly, with symptoms developing between seven and 21 days after exposure, Berkeley officials said. The risk is very slight for those who have been vaccinated, they added. Those at highest risk are the unvaccinated, infants, pregnant women and those with impaired immunity.
The state recently endured a large measles outbreak that spread to other states. A debate over whether parents should be forced to vaccinate their children ensued.